Museums are a place of wonder, housing visual aspects of culture, imagination, and history.
The primary reason to visit museums is to educate yourself in some way. But even though a good educational experience involves interaction, not all museums encourage this. Some pieces are meant to only be viewed.
I don’t know of any place that requires greater vigilance to the rules than does a museum. It’s important for you to know what to expect, and the behavior expected of you.
Keep in mind, however, that rules, though seemingly stringent, are created to provide all visitors a meaningful experience while protecting the valuable art and artifacts that are kept there.
Rules will be posted at each facility, but here are ones that will apply at any museum:
If you love to visit museums and learn new things, there will be times when you see something exciting and can't contain yourself.
I'm certainly no exception. When visiting the Anchorage Museum, I walked through an exhibit featuring three colorful bears. I was fascinated! Though there was a sign clearly posted to warn me, I instinctively reached out and touched one of them. I know, but I couldn't help myself!
I immediately pulled my hand away and told our guide, who was standing next to me, "Oh, I am sorry!" I kept guard of my straying hands after that incident.
When enthusiasm takes over, do your best to be mindful of your movements. Museum curators enjoy knowing how much guests like the works they've installed, but don't risk letting your excitement ruin a piece of priceless art.
If you do happen to touch something (or worse), find a staff person and tell him or her. It may be necessary that they clean the piece to remove the oils and bacteria from your fingers, or right whatever wrong has accidentally happened.
Museums are a wealth of knowledge waiting for you to explore. Though some people are a little put-off by the rules in place, it is entirely possible to visit, learn information, and be inspired by the things you will see - all while having fun.
The most important rule is to enjoy yourself while doing your part to protect and preserve the art work, and to be mindful that others will come after you, hopefully for many years to come.